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Tudor Bag

I had a special request recently to make a bag for someone to give as a gift.  I gave them a few options and they ultimately decided on the Tudor Bag by Sew Sweetness.  I had made this bag once before, but did not make the outer zip pocket.

For this project, I used Essex linen for the majority of the exterior.  This was my first time using this fabric and I enjoyed it.  I already have another project in the queue using it!  The front of the bag features a piece
of an Alison Glass panel that fit perfectly in the space between the bag handles.  The handles are quilting cotton but the black accents at the bottom of the bag are cork.  I’ve mentioned before, I love using cork, especially for accents.  Sew Sweetness also sells cork on her site in so many great colors.

Because this was my second one, things went together fairly easily.  The outer zipper pocket gave me a little trouble because of the placket for the zipper.  Somehow I messed up the dimensions of this and it did not come out exactly right.   As you can see from the picture, the zipper is just weird looking.  It is supposed to span the length of the placket, but I miscalculated something along the way.  I don’t love how it turned out, but the recipient was happy so I will try not to worry about it.

I had one interesting thing happen during the process that I thought I would share.  After installing the zipper pocket, stitching on the handles and sewing up 3 of the 4 sides of the bag, I discovered a little problem:

This photo shows the zipper pocket that I ingeniously sewed into the seam of the handles.  So basically I didn’t notice that I had done this until I was sewing up the final side of the bag, just ready to flip it right side out.  It was not as easy to fix as I thought because I had to rip out the stitches shown above, but in order to re-sew the handle securely, I had to rip out another side seam.  Otherwise, I would not be able to get to the handle easily.  Anyway, not a huge deal in the long run but definitely one of those times that you look up to heaven and sigh before reaching for the seam ripper!

In the end, I like this bag, even with the zipper ickiness.  I’ll be ready next time (or at least make some better measurements).

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Evelyn Bag (Swoon Pattern)

I finished up this bag for a friend last week.  The Evelyn bag by Swoon Patterns is one of my favorites to make.  This is my 4th one, and I find that each one gets even better.   So far the Evelyn is the only Swoon bag that I’ve made, but I have the pattern for the Brooklyn Bag (from the Bag of the Month club).  I have others that I want to try out in the future as soon as my WIP list dwindles down.

My friend requested the exterior be a very bright fabric with lots of color.  I found this print one day at JoAnn’s and sent her a picture from the store.  She immediately texted back, “Get it!!”.  I love all the colors in the print.  It will pretty much go with anything.

I knew that I wanted to use black cork as the accent fabric for the bag.  The other three Evelyns I made also had cork accents.  It is so easy to use and I think the cork really makes the bag special.  I probably won’t use regular fabric for the accents in future Evelyn bags because I love the cork so much.  I’ve been using cork for bags for about 3 years now, but it’s really become popular recently.  When I first started using it, I had to order directly from Portugal but now there are several options in the US!  I have ordered through SewSweetness most recently.  Her prices are quite reasonable and she charges a flat rate for shipping, no matter how much of the cork (or vinyl) you order.

For the interior, I used Alison Glass Insignia in pink.  The pink matches the hints of pink in the exterior perfectly.

One change that I made for this bag is that I used a magnetic snap instead of a zipper closure.  That was at the request of my friend that prefers no zipper.  I actually almost never zip up my bags either, so I can relate.  I also added a interior slip pocket in addition to the zipper pocket.

This was the handbag size,  but there is also a bigger tote size pattern which I have not yet made.  If there is interest, I am thinking of doing a giveaway for one of the handbags in the near future.    Let me know your thoughts.